At Oasis we are passionate about the countries we arrange travel to and as a result of this feel it is only right and proper to give some support back to the communities that we send our clients to. We do not feel that there is any need to compromise on the quality or comfort of your trip for us to remain responsible. We also think that, where possible, we should directly benefit the communities we visit. We aim to do this by including in our itineraries visits to local initiatives such as local schools, farms, orphanages and wildlife projects.
Where possible we try to support smaller locally owned and managed hotels over the large global hotel groups. By doing this we ensure that as much of the income as possible remains within the local community. We regularly visit the countries we feature and work closely with our local partners to find new properties that fit as near as possible with the above philosophy. Also, in our experience, we find that these properties provide a much more authentic experience for our clients. Further to this, where available, we recommend that our clients stay in ethically responsible accommodation such as eco-lodges that are aware of their impact on the surroundings.
Hand in hand with the above Oasis are pleased to recommend a variety of “homestays” where instead of a hotel or guesthouse you are able to join a local family for a night or two to truly experience their way of life first hand and the majority of money paid goes directly to the local family or community.
Once you have confirmed your itinerary with us, the final copy will have individually tailored notes where we will actively recommend local restaurants, shops and other local initiatives so the local communities directly benefit. We also recommend things to do with your free time (where no sightseeing activities have been pre booked) these include such things as visiting local spas where massages are given by fully trained blind people, specialist shops where the goods are made by local hill tribes people and restaurants that take on kids from underprivileged backgrounds.
At each stage of your trip we will assign you a local guide (for example if visiting Vietnam you will not have the same guide in Northern, Central and Southern areas). We do this so that your trip will directly benefit the immediate local community by means of guide employment. We also confidently believe that this will enhance your trip as local agents and guides have a much better understanding and personal knowledge of the immediate area. The same approach is used when selecting your drivers.
Other ways in which you can reduce your impact on the local environment and benefit the local people by your visit are;
- Take out what you take in, i.e. never leave litter and remove other tourist rubbish where you can, set an example to others.
- Buy locally produced goods.
- Don’t barter too hard, think about it, that last 20 cents is nothing to you but can make all the difference to the vendor!!
- When shopping take your own bag to save on the many plastic bags used in local markets.
- Try not to recharge phones and cameras overnight.
- Switch off the lights and air-con when leaving the room.
- Try to reuse towels (tell the hotel not to change them daily).
- Don’t give to street beggars no matter how tempting it may be, as it only encourages the practice. If you want to give donations ask your guide or travel consultant before you depart about giving to a local charity.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, please just think about your actions and how they will, or will not, affect the surroundings, if everyone does this we really can make a difference by improving the environment and enriching others lives!
On your return, we would be grateful to receive feedback on the actions of our local agents, guides and drivers to ensure that where possible we can help and encourage them to act responsibly towards the environment and maintain the highest quality for future fellow travellers. We take your views very seriously when selecting local personnel!
And please don’t forget to take care of things at home BEFORE you depart, turn down your fridge, put lights on timers rather than leaving them on, cancel any newspaper subscriptions for the period you are away and unplug any electrical equipment.
This code of ethical practice is not only confined to our destinations, we attempt to be just as environmentally friendly in our office! We do this by minimizing our power consumption, recycling, sending the majority of correspondence by e-mail and not producing costly environmentally unfriendly brochures. We also off set our carbon emission on all overseas business trips and encourage you to do the same thing. Just visit www.climatefriendly.com/flight for more information on how.